Though the D-backs saved about $4MM in the trade that sent Aaron Hill, Chase Anderson and Isan Diaz to the Brewers in exchange for Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner, GM Dave Stewart implied to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that further moves aren’t likely to be made. The D-backs “don’t have much going on” in terms of trade talks or free-agent pursuits at this point, Stewart said.
Gilbert writes that the cost of adding another arm to their bullpen mix seems to be too great. That’s not to say that they don’t have the money to spend, but rather that given the asking prices around the market and the in-house options on the roster, the D-backs don’t see a deal worth pursuing. “It’s not tight. It’s either you want the player or you don’t,” Stewart told Gilbert.
Gilbert writes that Brad Ziegler, Daniel Hudson, Andrew Chafin and Randall Delgado all profile to land bullpen jobs, and Stewart listed a wide number of internal options that intrigue him, including Silvino Bracho, Enrique Burgos, Jake Barrett, Cody Hall, Dominic Leone, Evan Marshall, Sam LeCure and Wesley Wright. Certainly, there’s reason to believe that the names listed could yield three bullpen pieces for the Snakes, and there are always names that pop up unexpectedly during Spring Training either on the waiver wire or in free agency. Additionally, some within the organization will probably emerge as surprise bullpen candidates as well.
It would seem, then, that the money saved in the Hill trade may instead go toward in-season flexibility. While some fans may find that frustrating as they wish for immediate reallocation of those funds, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Firstly, while Arizona’s Opening Day payroll should be a bit north of the team’s marks from 2015 ($88MM) and 2013 ($86MM), it should also come in well shy of 2014’s record $112MM Opening Day payroll. It should also be noted that the D-backs signed a $1.5 billion television contract last February, and the increased rights fees from that deal kick in this season. While the increase over the club’s previous television revenue will be incremental in nature, the D-backs should have some degree of increased spending capacity. All of this is to say that while further additions don’t seem likely for the time being, based on Stewart’s comments anyway, the club certainly looks poised to have a good bit of financial flexibility for summer upgrades on the trade market, even if they require adding payroll.